Shipping companies impose fines

Current information from Lamprecht Transport Ltd.

Customers of the shipping company Hapag Lloyd are currently being informed that, as of September 15, 2019, a fine of USD 15,000 will be imposed for every falsely declared hazardous goods container. Furthermore, the shipping company points out that a sender with a false declaration of dangerous goods not only violates the dangerous goods regulations, but they also make an infringement of regulations and can lead, worst case, to prosecution. The sender is also liable for all costs and consequences in connection with infringements, fines, damages, critical incidents, claims and corrective actions resulting from cases of undeclared or incorrectly declared cargoes.

There is a suspicion that incorrectly declared dangerous goods may have been the cause, or at least a partial cause, of the fires over recent months on container ships. At the beginning of January 2019 Hapag Lloyd itself was affected by a container fire on the "Yantian Express", caused by incorrectly declared dangerous goods.

Other shipping companies are also taking similar measures against senders who incorrectly, or do not, declare dangerous goods. According to a report in the publication "The Loadstar", Evergreen was one of the first to announce it would impose fines ranging from USD 4,000 to USD 45,000.

OOCL has also announced that they will increasingly control dangerous goods shipments in the future and impose penalties. To "The Loadstar" they stated that inconsistencies between the cargo declared in the documents and what is physically in the containers will lead to a penalty for the false declaration of dangerous goods. The amount of the penalty will be dependant on the extent of the differences. They also intimated that containers may be denied loading and will remain where they are.